Techin5 Developer Interview – SoundHound

Techin5 Developer Interview – SoundHound

Good news folks, We’re back for another round of the Techin5 Developer Interview! Yes we know it’s not a Saturday today which is when we usually post our Developer Interview’s, but what can we say, we’ve got a busy lineup of Interviews to come and we wanted to space them out equally! Once again, we urge all of you to keep checking out Techin5 for the latest and greatest Developer Interview’s, exclusively on Techin5 as there will be another one early next week!

Our 5th Developer Interview takes on a familiar and popular app – SoundHound. This popular music detection app is available on 4 major Operating Systems, and has fast become one of the most used app’s around. With us today is SoundHound Vice-President, Katie McMahon who has taken the time to answer our questions and give us more of an insight into the company, how the app works, and how they differentiate their app from competitors. They have been constantly rated one of the best go to apps for music detection, and we agree that their app is one of the best around.

So, what does Katie McMahon have to say about SoundHound? Read on to find out!

Techin5 Developer Interview – SoundHound

Please tell us what is your role at SoundHound?

Katie McMahon, Vice-President at SoundHound.

Katie, tell us how SoundHound came to be?

SoundHound was actually born out of a college thesis idea. Keyvan Mohajer (co-founder and CEO), along with two other founders, took the premise of Keyvan’s Ph.D thesis that dealt with sound recognition technology. They worked tirelessly in their Stanford dorm room, cracked the algorithm and SoundHound was born. They used the passion for this technology to build a successful company that produces break-through sound and voice recognition and search technologies, including the SoundHound and Hound apps.

How does SoundHound compete with free and paid competitors alike?

As a company, SoundHound has three unique things:

1.) We own our core technologies and represent the team behind it. SoundHound is all our own IP with nothing licensed from anyone else;

2.) We focus on both the creation of our core technologies and the productization of it, which has made SoundHound the world’s fastest and most accurate music recognition, responding in as little as four seconds. (You can also check out this lab test video that points out the difference in speed and accuracy for SoundHound vs. Shazam); and

3.) We have a collection of technologies that is unmatchable by any other company or product. The SoundHound app:

  • Has grown to be the most utilized mobile music search, discovery, and sharing service in the world, with well over one billion songs identified per year and more public music shares than any other mobile music application
  • Is the only app in the world with sing/hum recognition
  • Features unlimited IDs (on both the free and paid versions of the app)
  • Supports “say search” (simply say the artist of song title and SoundHound takes you straight there) in addition to sing or hum search
  • Features iOS 5 support and iCloud integration for users to enjoy capturing their music moments seamlessly across all their iOS device (no separate favorites lists, history or bookmarks on your various iOS devices)
  • Provides full-screen LiveLyrics for more than 1 million tracks (in the U.S. and Canada), allowing users to view lyrics in time with the music for music recognition and iPod songs: users can even double tap a line of lyrics to play it
  • Includes the SoundHound Player (industry first – total iPod integration) – play iTunes tracks with LiveLyrics and instantly link to artist info
  • Provides exclusive “underplayed list” to help discover new music
  • Integrates real-time Facebook and Twitter updates from artists: tap a band’s name to instantly see its latest social news

How many people use SoundHound Worldwide?

After just two years, SoundHound’s total user base is 50 million worldwide on iOS and Android alone.

Quite impressive in such a short time! What has been the reason for SoundHound’s success?

The main source of SoundHound’s success is truly building something that is really good that we stand behind and are passionate about. We put everything that we have into developing the best app possible so that when people try it, they like it the first time. Once they try it, they’re hooked.

What is SoundHound doing to improve the speed at which a song is detected by the app?

SoundHound’s technology, called Sound2Sound (S2S) Search Science, is a revolutionary technology that is created in-house by SoundHound and is capable of recognizing various sound inputs including music and speech. SoundHound is the world’s fastest and most accurate music recognition (responding in as little as four seconds) and we are always looking and new ways to improve on that.

What can users and future new users expect from SoundHound that we should be excited about?

We will continue to focus on music, audio and voice, and continue to add features and new technologies to the SoundHound application to make SoundHound the best music search and discovery app available. We will also continue to change the user paradigm by moving beyond touch to making voice the primary means of search. We feel voice recognition is the way of the future, so we will continue to develop our technologies to enhance the breadth of our standalone voice search application, Hound.

Do you have any final words about SoundHound?

It’s a very exciting time for SoundHound Inc. And we have extraordinary technology and a team to realize our mission to revolutionize how users interact with their mobiles using sound and voice.

Thank you for your time Katie!

Special Thanks to David for his assistance

If you want to read our interview with Shazam, please click here.


Founder and Chief Editor of Techin5, currently based in Melbourne Australia. Has always had a deep appreciation of Technology and how it helps people, which led to the birth of Techin5. You can follow me on Twitter at @jubbing and on Instagram